“Les Chemins de fer du Creusot” tell us that, although 241P17 will put in an appearance at the May 7th and 8th “Gathering of steam locomotives” at Le Creusot, it will not be operating any trains during 2022 and in fact the tour programme (see below) is to be operated by 2-8-0 140C27, built in 1917 by North British in Glasgow! like the one illustrated here (Sarrguemines, 1969).
We are happy to make individual bookings for you on all of these CFC trips, including Eurostar + TGV rail to and from Le Creusot where some of these journeys start; or flight to Nimes for the June 4 & 5 steam tour to Burgandy; and appropriate hotel accommodation; and if you need it, transport between the TGV station and the town station (where the special trains start and finish). Please note that some details including final prices, are still being finalised by CFC as we publish this advance information (January 2022)
Steam to Burgandy – June 4 (Saturday) Nimes – Lyon; June 5 (Sunday) Lyon – Le Creusot. Timings and price of the special steam train t.b.a. Enthusiast Holidays package includes outward flight London Stansted – Nimes on Friday 3rd June (13:00/15:50) with overnight accommodation in Nimes; overnight accommodation in Le Creusot on 4th June, and rail Le Creusot – London St. Pancras International on Monday June 6th. Price t.b.a.
“Parc de Combes Express”, Saturday July 9th. This journey behind 140C27 starts at Dijon and, calling at Nuits St. Georges and Beaune, arrives at Le Creusot to connect with the narrow gauge steam train to the Parc de Combes, with its many attractions including the Ferris Wheel which provides a panoramic view around Le Creusot – even Mont Blanc on a clear day!
The locomotive will likely be one of the two operational 1917 Henschel 0-8-0T “Brigadeloks” like that pictured above, climbing out of Le Creusot. Indicative railtour price Dijon back to Dijon incl. n.g. steam train, £55 2nd Class; £72 1st Class.
There is no airport at Dijon so probably Eurostar + TGV provides the best means of getting there and back – times, prices etc. will be posted nearer the time.
Annecy Steam Express, August 28th (Sunday) Depart Le Creusot with 140C27 to Ambérieu, where we change engines to one of the electric locomotives preserved by APMFS (Association for the Preservation of Railway Equipment in the Savoie), like CC6549, (pictured courtesy Maxime Bridon, Chambéry) for the remaining 110kms of the journey to Annecy.
This magnificent small ancient town is situated on the majestic lake of the same name, on which you can take a trip if you wish, before the return run to Le Creusot. Indicative railtour price Le Creusot back to Le Creusot, £64 2nd Class; £94 1st Class.
The City of Light in Steam, September 11th (Sunday) No, not Paris which has also been called the “City of Light” – but Lyon. Again, the journey there and back through the Burgundy vineyards from Le Creusot is hauled by 140C27, calling at Chagny, Chalons-dur-Saône, Macon and Villefranche-sur-Saône. On arrival in Lyon, you will be able to discover the corners of this legendary city with a guide, then have lunch at a little Lyon restaurant; or embark on a 2½ hour cruise on the Rhône, with lunch on board, including an aperitif and a gastronomic meal, before returning with 140C27 to Le Creusot. Pictured – a study of 140C’s at night, on Belfort shed, 1970. Indicative railtour price Lyon back to Lyon incl. guided tour of Lyon and/or cruise, and lunch; £55 2nd Class; £79 1st Class.
If you are travelling from the UK to join any of these tours, you will normally need accommodation in Le Creusot the night before the trip starts, and probably the night it ends. Recommended hotels are the F1 Le Creusot TGV** or Kyriad ** – both room-only and near to Le Creusot TGV station; or the Hotel La Petite Verrerie, – in Le Creusot town and walking distance from Le Creusot SNCF station. If you want to go it alone, you will need to budget for taxis between Le Creusot TGV/Novotel and Le Creusot SNCF/town or v.v. because although the distance is not great, it is not “walking distance” unless you are very fit (or very mean!) Details of such bus services as exist, will also be provided.
We can of course book this hotel accommodation for you, and as licensed and bonded agents for SNCF we can offer special (RIT = Rail Inclusive Tour) return fares from St. Pancras to Le Creusot TGV and return – best available fares and hotel rates will be quoted at time of booking, and train times confirmed.
“Baie de Somme”
Just across the English Channel, and much nearer than Le Creusot, is Noyelles, on the old main line from Calais to Paris – the route of the “Fleche d’Or” or “Golden Arrow” – and the hub of the Bay of the Somme Railway, with branches to Le Crotoy, and to St. Valery-sur-Somme and Cayeux-sur-Mer.
The annual steam festival normally takes place in April, and if it does (in 2022) we will present a package including return Eurostar and rail between London St. Pancras International and Noyelles via Calais Frethun; a 3-day pass valid on all the public steam trains which will be operating on the network over this weekend (and there are many – click on this link http://www.fetevapeur.fr/index.php?lang=en for an example of the full timetable which was operated in 2016, and the 2022 version will be uploaded as soon as available); and 3 nights BB in an hotel in St. Valery (or in Noyelles or in Cayeux depending upon availability) and travel from St. Valery to Noyelles on Monday morning.
Package price will also be confirmed when available.
Depending on the post-Pandemic Eurostar timetables, the outward journey on the Friday would leave St. Pancras around 13:00, and with one change in Calais Frethun, arrives Noyelles c.16:30, still in time to see some of the festival trains before the weekend begins in earnest on the Saturday and Sunday. The return journey on Monday morning would leave Noyelles around 08:00 and again with a change in Calais Frethun, gets to St. Pancras mid-morning, possibly useful for those who cannot miss a working day. Travel out and back on other days is of course possible but details and prices would be confirmed at the time of booking.